To the Editor:
The evening of April 30, 2008, was a beginning of a new chapter in my life.
That is how I, and my family, have chosen to look at that fateful event.
From the time of my collapse, I was under the watchful eye of God above and a host of friends and colleagues. Everyone, from the emergency personnel in Clay County, the staff of St. Vincent Clay Hospital, the staff at Union Hospital, including many old friends of both Susie and mine, we were well cared for!
I am told that the helicopter ride to Methodist was "something" but I can recall none of the events of that night.
I am certainly aware now that the right people were in the right places at each stage of that evening.
What was occurring would be described as a dissecting thoracic aortic aneurysm and I was in a medical crisis. I went through eight hours of cardiac surgery, which all went as it should.
My lasting effect of the event however, is continued paralysis of my legs. My mind, my upper body and my heart are all doing well, but I will be living life as a paraplegic from this point on.
The prayers that were sent in my behalf reached literally all over the world. I have been so humbled by the out-pouring of love and well wishes. My words are inadequate to try and express my gratitude. I would like to publicly say thanks to my patients. Thank you for caring about me and praying for me. It touches my heart to know you have been so kind. Thanks to my colleagues for caring about me and for me, and for "taking up the slack" in my absence. Thanks to the many nurses and nursing staff members for their concern, prayers and cards … keep the coffee on, I'll be back!
I would not attempt to name all those to whom a thank you is addressed to. But, if you have sent up a prayer for me, or contributed in any way, large or small, to my recovery, I extend my most sincere thanks!
My coal is to be back in my office, seeing my patients, my friends, and going on with life. I may have a different life from a wheelchair, but I have a life -- and for that, I am most grateful.
God bless you all,
aka Dr. Charles French, M.D.